NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Americans Generous Towards Charities

November 6, 2001

Nearly 90 percent of American households donated to charities in 2000 -- giving an average amount of $1,620 or 3.2 percent of their income -- according to a survey by Independent Sector entitled "Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001."

Independent Sector is a coalition of more than 700 charities, nonprofit groups and foundations.

  • Forty-six percent of households gave money or valuables, while another 42 percent donated both volunteer time and money -- with another 2 percent volunteering time only.
  • Although Independent Sector did not report the total amount given, the American Association of Fundraising Counsel has estimated that $203.45 billion was given in 2000 -- a 6.6 percent increase from 1999.
  • Households with family members who attended religious services each month gave $2,151 -- compared with $964 given by those who were not regular attendees.
  • The 83.9 million people who volunteered gave an average of 3.6 hours a week -- the equivalent of 9 million full-time workers with a value of $239 billion.

In a related development, more than $1.1 billion has been raised for relief efforts related to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Most Americans Donate to Charity, Coalition Says," Washington Times, November 6, 2001.

For Independent Sector text


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